How do you feel about your style? Do you feel fabulous, ok or not great? How do you feel about what you wear? Do you own your style?
In this (20 minute) video Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe and I discuss some of our own feelings about these questions and where the answers and feelings may have come from in our own lives.
Jill feels fabulous about her style, I don’t feel that way about mine (yes this may surprise you, but I reveal in the video why). It’s not that I don’t like my style but it’s not a word I’d use for my own style.
How can you take an outfit from good to great? What do you need to consider?
Body Shape and Proportions
Ideally your outfit should work with, not against your body shape (and if you’re not sure about your shape take my body shape quiz to discover what suits you). Knowing the easy rules for your shape helps you to find outfits that harmonise with your beautiful body.
What you wear is integrally tied to your personality – who you are as a person. Personality trumps body shape (which I’ve written about here) and is why we feel good and like “me” in some outfits, and “not quite right” in others. Step 1 of my 7 Steps to Style program is dedicated to personality and it’s the first step because I believe it’s actually the most important step in finding outfits that make you feel and look great.
Those bits of jewellery, scarves, shoes, belts, hats and other bits and bobs are often the difference between OK and fabulous. As I always say, accessories are the icing on your sartorial cake and shouldn’t be forgotten (and it’s interesting when Jill wrote this post about her experience taking outfit photos she realised just how important they were).
These are the start of what to look for, of course there are colours and scale and a whole host of other elements to putting together outfits that you can consider as well.
The trick is to finding what feels right for you so that you feel good on the inside as well as looking great on the outside.
More Tips to Help You Create Stylish Outfits
Understanding the Style Puzzle – 9 Keys to Unlocking Your Style
How to Choose to the Scale of Details and Accessories Based on Your Personality
Very interesting, girls… your chat reminds me of an experience many years ago with a girlfriend in the Carolinas. We spent a weekend at a Christian retreat center with a group of about 450 people with varied economic status from all walks of life, . Sunday afternoon, our last day, the majority of folks shared their thoughts of always feeling “less than” through out their life! Astonishing, considering the accomplishments of some . Even if we were raised with more criticism than praise, I, for one, will strive to look my best (ha, to the grave)!
Thank you both for helping me along with my journey. It’s been fun!!!
I think you are beautiful, Imogen. I appreciate your authenticity. Like many women (I am there) you are perfectionnist and I can understand your feeling. We have been told to be quite perfect so it’s difficult (for me it is )to feel ok and good enough. We see so beautiful women everywhere (sometimes with photoshop) that we feel we are not quite right and missing something. Too much pressure everywhere about beauty and perfection and as a result insatisfaction. I would like to be quiet and confident about it all. You are both very kind and professionnal. Many thanks to both of you.
I loved hearing you and Jill discuss how you feel wearing your styles but was surprised to hear that you don’t “feel” fabulous! You both certainly look fabulous, albeit in different ways! I can posit that I don’t always want “fabulous” depending on the situation but that there are many instances where “friendly and approachable” or “blending into the background”would certainly come into play.
It was an interesting one for us too – it brought up feelings that I hadn’t ever considered before!
A very thought provoking and interesting conversation. You and Jill seem so comfortable and supportive of each other and the interactions in these videos have been wonderful. Like many women, I tend to compare myself to others and seek approval for my style from the outside. My involvement in the 7 Steps program has really helped to change my focus in many ways.
Yes Jill and I love having these conversations and it was amazing what a kind of touchy subject it came to be when we started chatting about it. I kind of thought it was rambling but I’m glad that you found it interesting!
Thankyou for that very helpful video. I really appreciate your honesty, and for encouraging us the readers to also be authentic to whom we are. I believe we all suffer from ‘feeling less than’but I also believe we don’t truly know what is the true reason for this. If we gained all the things we assume will make us good enough, we will still suffer with the same problem. It is deep down where we often don’t go ourselves and where we don’t take others.
This video gives us an opportunity to look at ourselves and say ‘no’ to comparing. I am older now and find myself still addressing the same issues. So thankyou, Mavis
It’s great not to compare! Comparison is a terrible thing so frequently that does nothing but make us feel bad.
Well, in my humble opinion you are both FABULOUS women who inspires me! Truly!
I love your talks and how you each reflect on the style journeys you have taken. I have followed your example, Imogen, and taken the haircolor plunge this year of changing from a medium brown to my natural silver. Like you I went through several bleachings to get here. Right now I’ve got shiny, healthy silver roots for a few inches and matte, ashy blonde length the rest of the way. It’s hard to be patient while it all grows out, but I’m determined.
As you know, changing such a significant factor as haircolor means that my clothing needs some tweaks. I’ve also realized that my preferred style is more romantic and feminine, so I’m trying to ask myself, “Does this feel romantic?” before I buy new things. I think my mom’s very tailored, classic, preppy style influenced my taste for many years. But what really gives me joy and feels most like me is when I’m dressed more dramatically, more elegantly, more feminine.
WOw how exciting to be completely changing your style in a way that feels authentic to you Dina!
What a wonderfully wise video! I wish it would have been possible for me to view it in my teens or early twenties. Should be compulsory viewing for every young woman in our world where “fabulous” wrongly means 5’10”, size 8 and ‘barbie doll’ waists.
Oh I know that feeling!
So interesting. I thought, wow, this is a looong video, but it went by so quickly. I find it especially interesting how you talked about your upbringing influencing yout style journey, Imogen. I grew up in the countryside, in a family where hard work and intellectual achievements were appreciated. In my surroundings, everbody was wearing practical, sporty, weather-appropriate clothing. Being interested fashion, style, cosmetics etc. was (and in part probably still is) looked upon as shallow, superficial and vain. I had to move to a big city to understand that personal style can be a great way of expressing my more creative and dramatic side as well as flattering my figure.
Yes we didn’t realise just how long we talked for! And it’s interesting just how your environment influences what you wear (and how sometimes what you want to wear makes you choose a different environment if you don’t feel like you really fit in).
I just want to take a moment to tell you how much I love and appreciate your website and blog. The other night, I was listening to my 15 year old daughter and her friend talk about their bodies. they were down on themselves over not looking like certain celebrities or even certain friends. It hurt my heart. Armed with the knowledge I’ve acquired from your wonderful website, I chimed in told them that we all have different body shapes and that they key is to embrace the body shape you were born with and learn to dress it accordingly. I used myself as an example, telling them that I have an 8 body shape and that there are certain clothes like boot-cut and straight jeans that look better on me than, say, flare jeans and my long torso and high hip is the reason I never looked right in low-rise jeans. I could see the stress melt away from their faces as if a light-bulb was turned on in their heads as I explained further. They walked away from the conversation feeling better about themselves. Thank-you! 😀
As for my style journey, I look back at pictures and think what the hell was that! I think I’ve found myself in my 40’s and you couldn’t pay me to go back to my 20’s. Although my profession is of a very spiritual nature, I look ridiculous in mystical/dramatic attire and even bohemian doesn’t work ,although I’ve tried. My daughters had a fit over me wearing clogs and flare jeans. I love that look but, for whatever reason, probably because Bohemian clothing is very loose and flowing, it just doesn’t suit me) but as Jill mentioned, it feels fake trying to portray an image that you are not. My style rule of thumb usually is if I go out and public and feel uncomfortable like I think people are staring at me (paranoid lol) then the outfit is not for me. I’ve realized through your blog that body shape has a lot to do with the right style and. I feel my 8 shape gets lost in anything but fitted clothing and I tend to go for the classics maybe because of that. My go-to work apparel is a pair of dark denim boot-cut jeans and a button down shirt, untucked because of my long torso (drives me crazy!) and my sleeves rolled up. I’ve been considering getting the waist taken in on all my shirts as they look baggy in my waist because it is so much smaller than my chest, and wonder if anyone will ever come out with clothes made for our distinct body shapes. If I had the money and the resources, I’d do it! Sometimes, I think I look boring as heck because I don’t like to wear anything but a delicate, elegant white gold or sterling silver necklace and diamond stud earrings. I think I use my expansive collection of Vera Bradley handbags and my ever changing hairstyles as my wardrobe “hero”.
Thank you for everything you do, it is much appreciated by so many of us!
Wow! This was a lightbulb moment for me. I realised I have been spending way too much time comparing myself to celebrities and to groups of celebrities who may or may not have the same body shape, features, etc as myself. I think this is why I return to your blog again and again as it is very helpful without trying to put me into just one category.
Good for Holly (above) putting her daughter and daughter’s friend onto the right track early on.
Thanks for your honesty Imogen. You and Jill look fab and are fab!
Comparison is toxic! It’s good that you now realise that you are a beautiful and unique individual who can have her own stunning style.